Its been over a month since I've posted here. As is typical of me, I tend to shy away from people when I feel life isn't going how I think it should go. I should all over myself a lot actually. How I should feel, should react, should parent, should look... The list goes on but for brevity's sake, I'll stop there. Along with my should-ing, I've been talking and crying and pressing on. Parenting, loving, fighting, failing and trying. I would rather talk about my babies at this point because I'm just so done thinking about myself, but I wanted to offer some sort of reason for my prolonged absence.
Nathan - My eldest still has his heart set on joining the military after high school. He also still wants to be a doctor. In February, he's going to a program that provides kids with the opportunity to learn about flight. They will be incorporating physics and math into a fun day where the students will use a flight simulator, experience a wind tunnel and actually practice landing a plane using our own skyline - he will be able to land a plane at Phoenix SkyHarbor airport. He's very excited about it and I think his dreams about his future may change after this experience. We'll see.
For the first time in his educational career, Nathan is beginning to realize what life has been like for his classmates for years -- he actually has come upon information that he needs to study in order to retain. This has caught him quite by surprise and made for some stressful days and teary nights when he received a couple grades he was less than happy with. Additionally, we're still dealing with the chronic stress and now, he's scheduled for an optometrist appointment because he's been having headaches and has been blinking non-stop for the past week or so. I'm also going to meet with his teachers this week because I have a couple suggestions for things we can do about the stress.
Chloe - I would estimate that about 50% of Chloe's life is spent upside down. When she's at school, of course, her options are limited, but at home, the wheels come off. She doesn't walk from the bedroom to the fridge, she cartwheels. And the couches are not for sitting, they serve a variety of purposes all related to somehow catapulting herself onto her hands or into a flip or somersault or some other way to maneuver her body so that she is not standing upright.
She's still doing well in school although we had some struggles with test anxiety earlier in the year. She's been working on it and has kind of found her groove with studying which has helped tremendously. Last weekend she and Jillian went to an all day cheerleading workshop and they will be performing during half-time for the high school basketball team. In addition to gymnastics and cheer, Chloe is a member of the choir at school and is auditioning for the talent show tomorrow. She is going to sing a JJ Heller song, "What Love Really Means" because (in her words), she likes that song and maybe it will touch someone in the crowd. She never ceases to amaze me. Her heart is so big.
Jillian - At 7, the youngest of the "biggies", Jillian plays an interesting role in our family. She alternates between wanting to be big and wanting to be the baby, never quite satisfied with her place. She tries so hard to be like Chloe and is terribly disappointed when she isn't as successful as her sister at different things. She also is just a little too young for Nathan to completely enjoy playing with her and also too small to be a surrogate "mommy" figure to Hubba. She plays with Wyatt very well and has recently learned to change his diaper. He still protests loudly when she changes him, but she always succeeds in making him laugh before its over.
At school, she is a social butterfly and still excelling in her studies. She can't be kept busy enough by her teacher and so has been given the job of unofficial tutor. Whenever one of her classmates is struggling, she takes them outside the classroom and works with them. She is completely addicted to music and is almost never without a soundtrack playing. She loves hip-hop, country, Christian and rock. She also has a memory like a sponge and quite the sweet tooth.
Wyatt - At almost 20 months, Tubbs has finally started talking. He has long shown a huge level of comprehension but has not shown interest in expanding his limited vocabulary until recently.He's learning the noises that animals make - made more fun by the fact we are in close proximity to cats, dogs, chickens, horses, donkeys, goats, cows, sheep and birds. He can see these animals daily and hear the noises they make for himself - instead of in a book. :)
One thing he continues to be stubborn about is his dislike of almost every type of "real" food. He will eat anything cracker-ish (for the most part) and will readily eat most flavors of baby food. There are special, infrequent days where I can get him to take a couple bites off my plate - usually of rice or noodles but he absolutely refuses to eat almost everything else. He loves chicken nuggets and will, sometimes tackle peanut butter and bread. He also loves toast but won't touch any sort of veggie or fruit unless it comes from a baby food jar. Oatmeal is another of his favorites - unless there are chunks of apple or berry in it. In this case, he will eat the oatmeal and spit out the fruit and then, in protest, pout and refuse to eat anymore oatmeal. We are making some progress with dried fruits. He's definitely a fighter - living up to his name already. :)
Not to leave out Lowell, he is still working with ADOT and enjoys his job, if not his boss. He loves the hours and the freedom this new job affords him as well as how much more involved he's been able to be in Wyatt's life because of the change. We are still juggling life with only one vehicle, but we've almost gotten used to the chaos. The kids are the ones that suffer the most, I think. After a long day at school, they still have to run around and pick up their mom in the evenings. Thankfully, I've been blessed at work to have the opportunity to shift my hours to a little earlier in the day for a short period of time, so at least for awhile, we've gotten a small reprieve.